Thursday, January 19, 2023

Issue:

Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Smiles Beyond The Scars

Being pregnant is definitely no picnic when you work full time. It’s not so much the unrelenting heartburn, the inconvenient nausea which can rear its ugly head at any moment, the need to know where a toilet is at all times or the excruciating pain you get in your stomach when you sneeze too hard. But what can be harder to handle are the waves of imbalanced hormones that send your emotions on a rollercoaster, with the smallest trigger evoking a tsunami of tears.

So when I had the opportunity to join Jules and Pete from Broken Ballerina last week for a private back-to-school shopping experience for families and children who had suffered from domestic and family violence, I knew it would be an emotional experience.

These were tears of joy I shed of course, seeing the faces of children light up as they ran around the store choosing bags, shoes and drink bottles, so proud of their choices which clearly reflected the colourful personalities in their hearts. I watched as two sisters, who were placed in foster care black and blue from abuse at the hands of their father, went back and forth picking shoes and comparing colours. Another young girl with a rare medical condition, also in foster care, beamed as she looked at her new school items, clearly excited to show her friends at school.

In the moment, I held back the tears and listened eagerly to the kids tell me about their choices. Once I got back to my car, I let those tears flow. The experience had touched me deeply. As we run around in our busy worlds, we often forget that there are people in our community going through terrifying trauma. It’s so important that if we know domestic or family violence is happening, that we speak up, before it’s too late.

As my heart ached for the children who smiled through their emotional and physical scars, my unborn baby gave me a kick and wriggle from within. All children deserve to be raised surrounded by love.

Amanda

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